The Search for Justice (Calcédoine Chronicles) - Fear and Grief | Penana
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The Search for Justice (Calcédoine Chronicles)
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Co-Writer Myra West *
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  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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The Search for Justice (Calcédoine Chronicles)
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#1
Fear and Grief
Myra West
Jul 28, 2017
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15 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!ErTLgo7FTKOYSmt5OeAKposted on PENANA

   The wind blew through her hair gently, sending her fiery red locks dance behind her like a veil of fire.copyright protection44PENANAH7lJKLPbfD

   The sun shone upon the golden wheat field and upon the clear water of a stream. The wheat was still covered in morning dew and it reflected the rays of the sun, making the whole field shimmer.copyright protection44PENANA8T51EmqM1k

   Anna laughed and jumped after a frog that made its way on the pebbles next to the stream. She kept to catch it but it jumped into the water splashing some on her. She laughed.copyright protection44PENANAxPiqcLv106

   Anna loved it there. She went there almost everyday to play around with her little sister Mary, who just recently turned thirteen.copyright protection44PENANALIe7rZTha8

   Anna was seventeen and was supposed to help her single mother grind grain into flour and sell it at the market to make a meagre living, but she loved playing there too much to give up on it completely.copyright protection44PENANAUj1ZlGmLsn

   Her father had died when she was seven. He defended her mother when she was being harassed by a soldier from the royal army, and he got arrested and was killed in prison.copyright protection44PENANA6ZcoppaVqa

   Despite the difficult times, not a day went by that she and her mother thought about him. Mary was too young to remember anything about him, and Anna loved telling stories about how she and their father went to the capital, Calcédoine City, to sell bread and flour at the market.copyright protection44PENANA1cSgjkfcBq

   Just next to their stall, there was always a wooden podium where since citizens performed for the visitors.  And every time that they went, without fail, he would let Anna watch the performance while he handled the merchandise.copyright protection44PENANAkwJmw42SQv

   Anna took a breath and sat down on the steps of a small stone medieval bridge crossing the stream. She didn't know why it was there, it just was. And it has been there for as long as she could remember.copyright protection44PENANAfWvskURvQi

   "Anna!" Cried a familiar voice at the edge of the forest, running towards her. "Anna!!"copyright protection44PENANAFSuy8OSn1u

   Anna smiled and stood up, scrubbing off from her plain brown dress the tiny green balls from the plants she ran through a while ago.copyright protection44PENANANl0wIwBLor

   "Hey Mary! I just found a burrow of foxes in the woods a while ago, maybe we should go back and-" her voice trailed off when she saw that her sister didn't have the joyful smile on her face like she usually had.copyright protection44PENANAgEnL6HGYdx

   And when her sister approached even closer, she saw that Mary had been running a little too hard. Her legs were bruised by branches and thorn bushes, her eyes were ringed with red from crying, she was covered in dust and her boots were muddy and damaged.copyright protection44PENANAgSpLrxAjVB

   Something is wrong. Anna thought to herself. copyright protection44PENANAOIXOfFkQqJ

   "Anna!" Mary cried before she threw herself into Anna's arms, crying.copyright protection44PENANAhHoEtumasz

   Anna pulled a twig out of her little sister's wild curly blonde hair and rubbed her back reassuringly.copyright protection44PENANAHJs6vTE5dz

   "Mary. Mary tell me, why are you crying, what happened?" Anna said, trying to make her calm down as much as possible, hugging her.copyright protection44PENANAH1hEQxkbnL

   "They came! They came to our homes.." the young girl sobbed, holding Anna by her dress.copyright protection44PENANAVEsjjWNF6g

   A shiver went through her body and she cupped Mary's cheeks in her hands.copyright protection44PENANAfNZHTvByBP

   "Who? Who came Mary?" she asked, her voice cracking in panic.copyright protection44PENANA7iRpXHWhSk

   "Men on horses and b-black armour." replied Mary, wiping away her tears with her sleeve, trembling. "They came, dragged everyone- everyone out of their houses and they put them in cages."copyright protection44PENANA3NYw6isUYy

   Anna stared at her sister, trembling in fear as memories of the king's soldiers came flooding back.copyright protection44PENANAadlaVfFxOh

   They were fierce men in service of king Evelyn and they were ruthless, cruel and without pity. Anna even doubted they knew compassion was part of the language. She remembered how they dragged her father out of the house, and then threw him inside those shady black carriages that everyone feared, where he was taken to the capital and hanged until dead.copyright protection44PENANAmVAdkxVhPO

   Anna hugged her sister tightly, pained by the horror she must have faced.copyright protection44PENANABTCApISRDQ

   "Listen, did anyone follow you?" she asked, shivering. "Did any of the soldiers follow you into the woods?"copyright protection44PENANApN4LXZ1DwP

   Mary breathed heavily and tried to calm herself down, trying to clear her head and remember.copyright protection44PENANAVTLv7532mT

   "I don't know... I don't know." she answered shuddering fearfully. "Mum told me to escape as soon as the soldiers arrived in the village..."copyright protection44PENANAQYMsybbq2O

   Anna swallowed and stared at the forest in the distance with fearful eyes. If they saw Mary flee, and followed her, they would both be dead. But there seemed to be no movement at all in the trees, to Anna's relief.copyright protection44PENANAhsCleAlfdR

   "What did she say?" she asked. "What did mum say when she told you to run?"copyright protection44PENANA59LQESWHUj

   "She said to run and never come back, and hide until it was all over." replied Mary, recalling what her mother's last words were.copyright protection44PENANAALhmePxpgA

   "Alright." whispered Anna, as she took Mary by the hand and started walking in the opposite directing that her sister came from.copyright protection44PENANAex2QTgqewE

   "Wait!" exclaimed the young girl, as she grabbed Anna's arm firmly to hold her back. "We have to go back!"copyright protection44PENANA6CNRssJpaE

   "What? Are you crazy?? Do you want to be caught and tortured by the royal army??" said Anna in disbelief.copyright protection44PENANAIKp07DPF36

   "Anna, our mother is all we have! We need to save her while we still can!" she cried in response, her grip around Anna's arm tightening. "If we lose her we're orphans!!"copyright protection44PENANAfhDi8wzzL6

   Anna stared at Mary, with a raising feeling of panic in her.copyright protection44PENANAdRI1JautAE

   "Mary we can't just run back into the village when the soldiers are still there! We're two young girls and they're what, like hundreds of them armed to the teeth??" exclaimed Anna in exasperation, trying to bring reason to her sister.copyright protection44PENANA7ioxiwb8be

   "But-"copyright protection44PENANAerwSKEpkda

   "Mary don't let mum's last words go in vain." Anna added, finally bursting into tears. Mary quivered again and watched her sister beg with a distraught expression.copyright protection44PENANAqr28tLjXfT

   "Sorry." whispered Mary.copyright protection44PENANABmc0Uvw5DI

  Anna sighed in relief that she put her priorities straight and reached out for her so that the two of them could find a safe place to hide, but the young Mary had other plans. She turned around brusquely and began running back to the village.copyright protection44PENANAjSaQLUuaeI

   "Mary!!" Anna yelled in terror, but Mary didn't listen and instead just kept running through the tall wheat into the forest.copyright protection44PENANAlF9oNCa6Ap

   Anna looked around her in sheer panic and then bolted after her younger sister to stop her from killing herself.copyright protection44PENANAZbLcbGHHLl

   She ran as fast as she possibly could, desperately calling her sister's name to make her stop, but Mary continued ignoring her and raced on the dirt path leading directly to the village, her blonde braid constantly getting stuck in the branches.copyright protection44PENANAq5dAVZvp9J

   Anna felt her bare feet sting when she stepped on numerous stones, twigs and other painfully pointy things.copyright protection44PENANA8voiTcV3iv

   She left her shoes at the bridge where she was playing moments before.copyright protection44PENANAtiGfvSVcAG

   "Mary please!" she called, sobbing.48Please respect copyright.PENANAjcnFQq1Xz1
   Suddenly, a strange scent filled the air that made her eyes sting with a burning sensation.copyright protection44PENANAx0LLAGK56U

   She realized what it was as soon as she saw smoke in the sky. The thick, dark smoke rose above the tree tops and blocked the light of the morning sun.copyright protection44PENANAPfpexjqsnJ

   "Mary!" she shrieked in despair as the village outskirts came in view.copyright protection44PENANAXQ2E5xw0J6

   Well, at least the remains of the village. copyright protection44PENANAGh7s2H9NNg

   Mary was staring at their house from the bushes as the raging flames engulfed it, burning the wooden doors, windows, devouring the stray rooftop. And their house, wasn't the only one to burn.copyright protection44PENANAHCv7R2qiuN

   Every single house, building and stall was burning to ashes.copyright protection44PENANA2sE46JCDKm

   There were no soldiers in sight. In fact, there was no sign of life at all. Only raging hot flames and crumbling structures.copyright protection44PENANAJqEQTGy2tl

   "They burned down the village..." whispered Mary, staring entranced at the fire.copyright protection44PENANAibYOiQQJ8l

   Anna shivered and let out a sob as she looked around the debris. She rubbed Mary's shoulder trying to calm her and herself down slightly.copyright protection44PENANAxbNbfTUSxE

   "L-Let's get out of here..." Anna whispered, feeling the deep feeling of despair enroot in her chest.copyright protection44PENANAfh5T8ZzG13

   This was it. This was the true horror and hate that the King inflicted.copyright protection44PENANA2kf18xRZg0

   Mary shook off Anna's hand and dashed through the bushes into the burning house.copyright protection44PENANAkNb7Yr1Tky

   Anna yelled in terror and wanted to grab her sister before she disappeared into the flames, but it was too late. She wanted to follow her sister, but the fire was terrifying and made her freeze in fear.copyright protection44PENANAyzPEsXD2EF

   "Mary!" she called, sobbing hysterically.copyright protection44PENANA6G0lI9Sz89

   Then she heard one of the wooden beams supporting the roof crack dangerously and she panicked. Then figuring that she had nothing else to loose, she dashed into the house, covering her mouth and nose with her sleeve.copyright protection44PENANAAsXMAWdBPx

   "Mary!" she coughed, trying to find a young girl with a brown dress and blonde hair in the ocean of fire.copyright protection44PENANAao702zXGCC

   "Anna!" copyright protection44PENANAlIjm31vWBD

   She saw her sister running in her direction holding a thick brown book with leather straps that has been burned in various places. Anna laughed in relief.copyright protection44PENANA5b62YGYbiO

   "Hold onto me!" she exclaimed, holding Mary close to her as they made their way through the rooms towards the exit.copyright protection44PENANAJscRsfqqV3

   Suddenly, another crack echoed above their heads and they saw in terror how the wooden beam cracked completely and came crashing down, taking half the roof with it.copyright protection44PENANA3gLmCOn8KY

   The two girls yelled and bolted towards the exit, ignoring the flames, to get out as fast as possible, just in time before the whole house collapsed, sending a gust of hot air around it.copyright protection44PENANALQaSS8yRkQ

   Mary coughed and ran towards the forest to get out of the suffocating hot zone, followed by Anna.copyright protection44PENANAF4jSVM7md2

   Then a horse with a soldier arrived unexpectedly and it whinnied in shock as Mary accidentally bumped into it, causing her to drop the book and collapse to the ground with a shriek.copyright protection44PENANApgjaCWZZ4K

   "Hey! You two!" boomed the man as he tried to stop his steed from rearing and bucking uncontrollably. Then he whistled to call for backup.copyright protection44PENANAYQA8IthhkB

   In a rush, Anna grabbed the book and Mary and they ran back into the forest, hearing the soldiers's horses gallop behind them and the barking of wolf hounds.copyright protection44PENANA70GrTBe1Yr

   "Couldn't you just listen to me for once in your life??" exclaimed Anna, with a tone of frustration and panic. "I told you not to go back to the village!!"48Please respect copyright.PENANAvJF2iyef2F
copyright protection44PENANA3nInykkxko

   "I wanted mum's storybook!" she cried as she practically flew over the forest floor behind her sister.copyright protection44PENANAhjfRsXlJeG

   Anna didn't care about all the splinters, cuts and blisters her bare feet had by now, or the ache and pain in her stomach from running so fast. copyright protection44PENANAlmG2OAD2BC

   All she cared about at that moment was keeping her sister, the only family she had left, alive and safe.copyright protection44PENANAuFZc2xxm4S

   The sound of wolf hounds barking in the distance echoed through the forest and Anna winced when a tree branch slapped her in the face.copyright protection44PENANALmb0eDYznc

   Mary shrieked as she tripped over one of the tree roots and she held in a cry, her open knee.copyright protection44PENANAfJzWLnwpp7

   Anna turned around and grabbed Mary by the arm urging her to stand up and continue running.copyright protection44PENANA2UM16PyEcD

   "There will be time for crying later." said Anna.copyright protection44PENANAwXZHYdlWNJ

   The girls were used to the high grain of the meadow and ran through it effortlessly. Anna jumped into the stream and ran to the medieval bridge where she had left her shoes earlier.copyright protection44PENANA82tIYf5uFv

   The soldiers were at the edge of the forest and they send their hounds after the sisters.copyright protection44PENANACHppJweiaq

   "Hurry up Anna!" Mary shrieked in panic as she tugged at her older sister's skirt while she was putting on her shoes.copyright protection44PENANAVGoVon9KjW

   The hounds barked and approached the girls rapidly with a clear thirst for blood.copyright protection44PENANAusZYaXdfsT

   Then, one of the biggest hounds jumped in the air and snarled as it attacked them.copyright protection44PENANAL5BaukGICQ

   Mary shrieked in sheer terror and covered her head with her trembling hands.copyright protection44PENANA9yxyuWVEGf

   Suddenly a white lion appeared from behind the girls and pounced on the dog, ripping its face off in a whim. Mary and Anna stared at it speechlessly. It raised its head and glanced at the two girls with a calm and serene expression.copyright protection44PENANABbHA9Ryn70

   For a moment, they relaxed. Anna wondered from where it suddenly appeared from, what it was doing there and why there was a lion in their meadow, but his majestic appearance made both of the girls stare in awe.copyright protection44PENANAgS5S2AcJiO

   Then, it's face twisted angrily and it bolted towards the two sisters, startling them momentarily, before it jumped over them and killed another dog behind them.copyright protection44PENANAAsn81R4XvL

   "Don't just stand there." it said with a low manly voice that made the girls shiver. "Get out while you still can!"copyright protection44PENANAc6XTG6LeuS

   Anna jerked back to reality, mouthed a thank you before she took Mary by the hand and turned around, running towards the woods without looking back at the soldiers or the hounds or the lion.copyright protection44PENANAfLLlDOVPxe

   They jumped over tree roots and dodged the branches that came in their way. They heard the lion roar in the distance and their hearts began racing with new found energy.copyright protection44PENANAE8H1gISlFo

   That arrived at the river. The shore was covered in white stones and pebbles and across the river continued another lush forest that was darker and more intimidating than the one they came from.copyright protection44PENANA6Su3LbaxqE

   It was Damp Forest.copyright protection44PENANApFpb03ZWSx

   "If we run in the water the hounds will loose track of our scent!" Whispered Mary as she let go of Anna's hand to go into the water.copyright protection44PENANAaxFRyWArig

   Anna glanced behind her and through the trees she saw the lion fighting off the hounds valiently.copyright protection44PENANAPo8ksUvDrV

   It pained her to leave someone who saved their lives behind with the soldiers, regardless of its species. But her instincts told her to just get to safety, and she obeyed.copyright protection44PENANAiRBI2CL2yE

   She took a deep breath and ran into the cold water after her sister.copyright protection44PENANAzIbfAJbabt

   Soon, after walking down the stream for a few minutes, the girls found a small cave inside the slope of a hill near them and decided to stay there for the day to pass by, so that they would be sure that the soldiers were no longer a threat.copyright protection44PENANAr0SzkluQYV

   Anna lit the few dry branches they had collected to make a small fire.copyright protection44PENANALhNnZPZKRx

   The sisters glanced at each other.copyright protection44PENANAorgzGRjS2u

   "Do you think mum is still alive?" asked Mary softly as she rested her head against the wall of the cave.copyright protection44PENANAmtvf3QAxGz

   Anna looked at her with a calm yet sad smile, stood up brushing off the dust from her plain skirt and winced while walking to her sister.copyright protection44PENANAtsQgQQ6PAY

   "I don't know really." she whispered. "All you saw were the soldiers throwing the townspeople into the carriages right?" she asked as she sat down next to Mary. "That doesn't mean they're dead..."copyright protection44PENANAnZqEz6vSYx

   There was a short silence in the dim lit cave and the only thing the girls could hear were their own breathing and the soft rustle of the water just outside the cave.copyright protection44PENANAnl0TA3JbBq

   "Will we find her again?" asked Mary softly, as she cuddled closer to her older sister for comfort.copyright protection44PENANAK4TBlJrsz2

   "Maybe." Anna replied, stroking Mary's head gently, her fingers entangled in her little sister's wild blinde hair. "We might see her again."copyright protection44PENANArW1RAAX5tW

   Mary smiled faintly then she sighed and fell asleep. Anna felt her own eyelids become heavy and the last thing she thought before drifting away was, how handsome the lion seemed when he appeared.copyright protection44PENANADRiDKSHu3j

~copyright protection44PENANAVOoOpJyRc7

   The next morning, Anna woke up suddenly because of someone walking near the cave, caused by the rocks of the riverbed making noise.copyright protection44PENANATD4VvEwsK0

   She felt her heartbeat accelerating in her chest and she looked around nervously. Did the soldiers find them? Were they standing outside the cave ready to catch us when they got out?copyright protection44PENANApnRI1CAJ6E

   Anna swallowed and breathed raggedly. Mary yawned and turned away from Anna in a painful groan.copyright protection44PENANA21sqQSaoJn

   Anna's eyes stared at the entrance of the cave. There were no metal clanking sounds of armour, nor the chatter of men, but she felt like she couldn't take any risks. So she leaned towards the black twigs from the smouldering fire and took one who was still somewhat solid, without taking her eyes off the entrance.copyright protection44PENANAwD0Ayvf5Y0

   There was little to no light, and she figured it must've been still very early in the morning. copyright protection44PENANA5ooX6qzH9F

   She stood up without a sound and walked towards the mouth of the cave with the stick in her hands.copyright protection44PENANAlcHNCxFNWp

   "Who is there?" she called after a few seconds of total silence.copyright protection44PENANAas2b3BHiGG

   "You needn't be afraid of me." said a low, kind voice that Anna remembered from the day before.copyright protection44PENANAjM5HJb7iTh

   "Are you the white lion?" she asked, her eyes fixated on a light figure walking towards her. She squinted.copyright protection44PENANAYetG26eITa

   "Yes indeed. And I go by the name Elgim." he replied, brushing past the young woman, making her sigh in relief at the tough of soft fur.copyright protection44PENANA84DbfGMXZt

   "Thank Goddess." she whispered, her body relaxing.copyright protection44PENANADifI0ZU8iO

   "Don't thank the Goddess just yet Anna." he said in a grave voice. "In my position I am forbidden to intervene in mortal affairs, but I came yesterday to save you from a certain enslavement, although I shan't ever come again." he explained.copyright protection44PENANApg3SW6YbOS

   Anna shivered.copyright protection44PENANAlXWY8cFV9F

   "Why? Who are you?" copyright protection44PENANAoNYEwYDq6V

   "I cannot tell you. But before I go, let me give you some advice." he replied sternly. "Go to your grandmother's place in Damp Forest. I am sure, the old woman has forgotten all about having a daughter yet alone granddaughters, but keep insisting. And if she still continues to deny, tell her Elgim send you, and she will most definitely give you a place to stay for a while." copyright protection44PENANAfvcio9onkd

   Anna remembered how her mother used to say that her mother was mad, or a real nutcase and upon hearing those stories, Anna wasn't entirely sure she wanted to meet this infamous grandmother of hers.copyright protection44PENANAfFacEiokdy

   "But where does she live?" asked Anna.copyright protection44PENANAZCmXgSWUj3

   Elgim turned his big head towards the black trees of Damp Forest and suddenly a trail of Will' O' Whisps appeared deep into the woods.copyright protection44PENANAPyz2QXbfkv

   "Follow these whisps and you shall find your grandmother." He said, turning away slowly.copyright protection44PENANAsAbCMQVab9

   "Wait-" she called, before clearing her throat and apologising for raising her voice. copyright protection44PENANAJaL582X5Wg

   She wanted to ask him how he came here, why he could talk, who he was, but by remembering his reply from earlier, she doubted if he would reply any of these. copyright protection44PENANA8MPHOGF0VZ

   So she contented herself with only two words.copyright protection44PENANAwnzH0myVwJ

   "Thank you."copyright protection44PENANA5gURl3Tj8Q

   "My pleasure." He smiled, before disappearing into a cloud of white lights, slowly drizzling back into the sky amongst the last stars. Anna gazed at it in awe.copyright protection44PENANAAhDpZr5Es1

   Mary had woken up and was staring at her sister from the mouth of the cave. The girl turned to face her and smiled.copyright protection44PENANAEYoeFoAek7

   "Let's go." she whispered, extending her hand.copyright protection44PENANAYqnShJWb25

   Mary took her brown story book and trotted to her sister, softly taking her hand, and they smiled sadly at eachother.copyright protection44PENANA1DmE2l680y

   Then, they both stared at the trail of light blue whisps that illuminated a path into the dark and scary Damp Forest.copyright protection44PENANA9EwyScXtri

   They took a deep breath and then with a nervous first step, they started to follow the trail of whisps into the woods.copyright protection44PENANAApIYiZIeaK

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